Monday, November 8, 2010

Lets Kill some MOn'keigh: Duke Sliscus

Duke Sliscus is a mad man. He is a Pirate who is about as unpredictable as they come. He left the dark city because he was tired of the petty and lethal politicking. He ply’s the stars raiding and slaughtering with is Pirate band the Sky Serpents and has done so for thousands of years. He is a hero to many Dark Eldar and a thorn in the side of others, especially the 3 Archons he stole his ships from.
I really like the Duke. I am basing my Dark Eldar force on him and his Sky Serpents. The two things that really endeared The Duke to me were two of his special rules. He allows all Venoms, Raiders and Ravagers to Deep strike as he prefers orbital insertion. Second he also rolls two dice for combat drugs and chooses the highest. Add in the fact he can nominate on warrior or Trueborn unit and allow their splinter weapons to wound on a 3+ and his twin venomed blades which wound on a 2+ ignore armor on a wound roll of 5 or 6 you have a very nice character. He is a bargain at 150 points. The Duke is armed with a blast pistol, his venom blades, carries plasma grenades, combat drugs, a shadow field and ghost plate armor.
He also has a nice stat line that will ensure he strikes first and hard. The Duke must start the game joined to a Kabalite warrior squad or Kabalite Trueborn squad. This is really not an issue as he is not an Archon and cannot take a retinue. This means you want him in a unit so he is not by himself and an easy Target.
I have centered my Dark Eldar strategy on the Duke. My current army lists have been using him and 3 haemonculi along with 3 Kabalite Warrior units on Raiders as the core. I have been toying with the other units. The latest version saw action against Vogrin this past Saturday and did not do so well, mostly because of dumb luck. As previously stated this codex is unforgiving and mistakes are disastrous.
I am using the Dukes theme of mobility and vertical insertion, I know sounds bad, to hone the list. I am using Kabalite Trueborns on Venoms as deep striking anti tank units. I am also using Voidraven bombers to wreck utter havoc with exposed infantry and heavy armor. By using the Duke you do not have to upgrade vehicles with retrofire jets, thus saving points, and you essentially get a Dark Eldar drop pod army. You can hit hard and fast. In theory is should work great. This is proving to be a challenge though to make it work. The main thing we discovered is that there is no exceptions for fast vehicles when it comes to occupants shooting out of them when they move at cruising speed. Occupants cannot fire when the vehicle moves at cruising speed. When you deep strike you count as moving at cruising speed . This snagged my plans for the Kabalite Trueborns and the warrior units as I had splinter rack installed on the raiders and the Trueborns had 4 blasters in their small 5 man squads mounted on venom’s. I was forced to rethink the strategy after loosing a lot of troops because I had to dismount them to fire on enemy tanks. I like to blame this on the Dukes tendency to sacrifice all his troops just to get one kill. The guy is kind of crazy after all.
I like the Duke and his crazy ways. The Sky Serpents are defiantly going to be the theme for my army as I paint and collect the new models.
I will post more as I develop the list and use the Duke more. I will have my battle report with Vogrin up later this week. I will also have the last part of the Phoenix Court of Khaine. I will also have a battle report up about my Craftworlders. They fought a Green Tide ork list Saturday night and to my surprise the only survivor was a single flash git. I will post the list.

Until then.....

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Awesome, i have been thinking about doing the same thing basing my new dark eldar on duke Sliscus and the sky serpents. I was just wondering how this is going for you and would appreciate any ideas on what works well together with him. Thanks.

  2. Cool stuff. A lot of neat characters in the book, both from a background and rules perspective. I've got my eye on Lady Malys myself.

  3. Well so far things have been going ok. objective games have been wins for the most part, but I am still finding the right balance for KP games. It is going to take time to find the right groove. The Duke is a nice basis although you really have to plan your drops well and cross your fingers you hit what you want to hit.
    Lady malys is my second favorite Rob. I am calling her Eldrads Ex wife because here divination power is almost identical to his and she is immune to psychic attacks. Thsi would make her Eldrads nemisis for sure.

  4. Warriors and trueborns should be your base. Wych cult is also appropriate but I would deploy them via webway portal. I am going to try that in the next incarnation of the list. The wychs have been very effective objective grabbers as most troop units cannot survive a close combat encounter with them. I have been using the warrior units to kill the opposing force while the wychs do mop up

  5. Run the Duke with at least one squad of Trueborn using Shardcarbines- you will not be disappointed. He turns that unit into a genuine monster, putting out an absurd number of wounds on basically anything.

    He also works well with Reavers, since they can supply anti-tank and benefit from his Combat Drugs upgrade. Wyches are less necessary but still quite usable.

    Three Haemonculi + Duke is almost certainly overspending on HQs; I would drop at least one of the Haems and maybe even two of them.

    Duke is a very efficient character who brings lots of useful stuff to the table and there are several different ways to build him. The only real requirement is that you run plenty of Raiders/Venoms to be able to use his DS ability.

  6. The haemonculi are there for pain token purposes and to add in some options for arcane wargear, which they can only take. Granted they are expensive, but they have been carrying their weight in the games I have played thus far. They may get dropped because of KP reasons though. it does free up points and eliminates 3 KP's from the list. I would rather have another Void Raven than the haemonculi. A I said I am still feeling the codex out.
    I do agree with the Trueborns. Wounding on a 3+ with assault 3 weapons is very nice.

  7. I have to admit I have not been able to use the Reavers effectively. The First time they worked well was in a team game last week. I laid a fire warrior squad to waste with the blade vanes and cluster caltrops. I have yet to take out a tank. I have been leaning more towards scourges rather than reavers.